Children on the Streets of the Americas: Homelessness, Education, and Globalization in the United States, Brazil, and Cuba

By Roslyn Arlin Mickelson | Go to book overview

3

Schooling and “Clean Streets” in Socialist Cuba: Children and the Special Period

Sheryl L. Lutjens

In a world where structural dynamics and state neglect have contributed to a growth in poverty, homelessness, and violence by—and against—youth, the absence of street children in Havana has distinguished postrevolutionary Cuba. 1 The streets of Cuba’s two-million-plus capital reflect the priorities and policies of the 1959 revolution, as well as the socialist commitments formalized in the early 1960s. More specifically, transformation in the economy and the pursuit of social justice created a context in which the care and education of all children became a constitutional responsibility of the state, mass organizations, and individuals. Yet the economic crisis of the 1990s, labeled the Special Period in Peacetime, has threatened the educational system and the egalitarian commitments of Cuban socialism. How have children been affected by crisis and the reforms that are adjusting Cuba to the new global order of the 1990s?

This chapter uses education to explore the distinctive role of the Cuban state with regard to children. It begins with an overview of change after 1959, presenting indicators of child welfare and well-being that reflect structural reforms and the crucial place of educational policies in Cuba’s state-directed project of social transformation. The economic crisis associated with the collapse of socialist trade and the strengthening of the U.S. embargo, as well as Cuban responses, are then explained by exploring the consequences of the Special Period for children and their education. Cuban reforms have prioritized international tourism, and with success (more than 1 million visitors in 1997) has come an increasing number of children who implore visitors for pens, money, candy, or gum. Yet “there are no niños de la calle [street children],” said one official of the Federation of Cuban Women (Federación de Mujeres Cubanas—FMC) in 1995; the children who ask for gum, she noted, have schools, a place to live, medical care, and food (Berges 1995). 2 Conclusions about these—and other—children in Cuba must be placed in the context of state policies, schooling, and the “clean streets” that have characterized postrevolutionary society.


REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE AND CHILDREN

The 1959 revolution dramatically altered the conditions of childhood in Cuba. Nationalist and then socialist policies targeted the problems created by dependent capitalist development, creating formal opportunities and new protections for children of all

-55-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Children on the Streets of the Americas: Homelessness, Education, and Globalization in the United States, Brazil, and Cuba
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 309

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.